What has Jesus done for me? (long)

April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that more and more these days people are asking one simple question. It may take a few different forms, but at it’s root, it’s all the same: “What has Jesus done for me?”. Sometimes it comes out in the attitudes, sometimes in actual words but it’s there none the less. Man’s pride puts himself at the top of the pyramid with everything else beneath him. Even family and friends are often under self. Some that ask this question, do so because they can’t see how Jesus has done anything for them. They think that they are responsible for their own success. Ironically, they always seem to blame God for their failures.

Others are false converts to Christianity who have come to Christ, not for salvation and cleansing of sin, but because they’ve been told that if they “accepted Jesus into their heart” they would have a better life, more money, comfort, peace, happiness, and all the other things that the world seeks. They have accepted Jesus and the plastic, shallow, representation that someone told them He was. He was portrayed as the “genie in the bottle”, and all you have to do is have enough faith and rub the lamp and “genie Jesus” will pop up and grant your wish. When their “genie” doesn’t give them what they want, they reject Him (because they are the one who accepted Him, so they are in control) and they turn their back on their only hope.

The final group are those who are in open rebellion against God. They ask the question as they stand in the depths of their pride and self-righteousness. They don’t really want an answer, they just want to fight against God and those who believe in Him. Some of these people are the most pious, religious people you have ever seen. They do everything according to the rules of their religion. They are militant and aggressive, and they’re wrong. Others are the most anti-religious (on the surface) people you’ve ever met. They have no morals and don’t care. They dive into sin and enjoy the coolness of the muck, not noticing the stench of death that clings to them as well. Both groups would end up red-faced and shouting if they were ever put in the same room and told to defend themselves against the other, but they don’t realize how alike they are.

Actually, there is one more group. This group includes the people who don’t know what Jesus did for them, but truly want to know. In this group you’ll also find those who know what Jesus did for them and every so often ask the question in order to preach the gospel to themselves.

Regardless of what group you’re in, hopefully this blog post will clear things up. With this being the Passion Week and Resurrection Day being this Sunday, I wanted to go through what Jesus has actually done. Hopefully this is scripturally sound and opens the eyes and hearts of all who read it.

If we were going to start talking about what Jesus did for us, it would revolve around what happened during Passion Week, A.D. 32. But, that’s not where this all started. In reality, it started long before the foundations of the earth were laid. In 1 Peter 1:20, Peter writes that Jesus was known before the foundation of the world. This is said in the context of Jesus being the spotless lamb who died for our sins. When Jesus prays for His disciples (those present and those to follow), He says that God loved Him before the foundation of the world. The plan of salvation was in place before the Trinity created anything material. God foreknew that man would sin, and He already had a plan in place. This is why we can see the promise given in Genesis 3 to Adam and Eve that the serpent’s head would be crushed. It was because God had determined the price for salvation and Jesus had already agreed to pay it. And then:

“When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4)

At the exact right moment, God sent Jesus Christ, fully God, to be a human being and enact the plan. The infinite Son of God poured Himself into flesh and became a baby, not losing His divinity/deity, but instead, adding humanity to it. It is this same Jesus that so many mock and deny. Jesus grew up voluntarily living among His creation as a man so that He might redeem us to God the Father. He lived a sinless life for thirty-three and a half years, tempted in all ways as we are but without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In his last three and a half years, He traveled all through Israel calling on men, women, and children to

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17)

Many Jews didn’t want to hear this message, but others did. There were Roman soldiers, Samaritan women, and tax collectors who all got saved by the message of repentance being preached. The blind saw, the lame walked, the mute talked, lepers were healed, and the dead rose (Matt. 11:5/Matt. 15:30/Mark 8:22/John 11:43-45). None of the miracles were what Jesus was hated for. It was for the truth that He spoke. He told his listeners that the Law wasn’t enough (Matt. 5), He called out hypocrites and self-righteous men for their pride (Matt. 23/Luke 12:56). He turned over tables in the temple (Matt. 21:12/Mark 11:15/John 2:14-15) and wasn’t afraid to face those religious leaders who should have known better. There were a few times that they tried to kill Him (Luke 4:29-30/John 7:44), but it wasn’t His time. Eventually, it was time for Jesus to accomplish what He had come to earth to do.

On 10 Nisan, Jesus Christ entered into Jerusalem riding a donkey. The people laid down their coats and palm branches, all the while shouting “Hosanna, in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 21:9/Mark 11:10/John 12:13). The Pharisees asked Jesus to stop the crowd and Jesus rebuked them. Over the next couple days, Jesus spent His time teaching. He continued teaching the Jews the truth about Himself and of God (Matt. 22:33/Mark 12:38/Luke 21:37). He also taught His disciples more openly about what was to come (Matt. 24/Mark 13/Luke 21/John 16-18).

On the night of the Passover, all was ready and God’s plan would be moved forward. Judas has gone off to make a deal with the Pharisees to betray Jesus (Matt. 24:14-15). Jesus sent a couple disciples ahead to prepare the Passover meal (Mark 11:1). When the night fell, Jesus and His disciples met in the upper room (Luke 22:12). The Lord went around to each disciple and washed his feet (John 13:5-15). He then returned to the table and they continued the Passover mean in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 3:14). As they reclined at the table, Jesus spoke up and said:

When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” (John 13:21)

The entire group began to ask Jesus if they were the one who would betray Him. They all questioned their heart and their motives (Mark 14:9/Luke 22:23/John 13:22-25). I believe that the commotion was so great that when John lay back and asked Jesus who it was, no one else heard Jesus’ response. Jesus told John that it would be the one that He gave the bread to (Matthew 26:23/Mark 14:20/Luke 22:21/John 13:26). Jesus gives the bread to Judas and Satan enters him (John 13:27). Judas gets up to leave and no one at the table save Jesus and John think anything of it (John 13:29). Judas goes to the priests and sets up the betrayal of Jesus. Jesus and the remaining disciples finish the meal and then get up and head for the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36/Mark 14:32/Luke 22:39/John 18:1). On the way, Jesus continues to teach them about what it means to be His disciple (John 15-16) and He prays for them (John 17).

In the garden, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him off to pray. Jesus then goes off by Himself and begins to pray about the events soon to come:

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39)

The pressure of being separated from His Father (something that has never happened before) is so heavy that He begins to sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Three times during His prayer, He rises to find the chosen disciples asleep. He wakes them He rebukes them and warns them:

And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:37-38)

After the third time, Jesus wakes them and tells them that He has been betrayed into the hands of sinners (Matt. 26:45/Mark 14:41-42/Luke 22:53). As they meet up with the remaining disciples, Judas enters the garden with a cohort of Roman soldiers and some temple guards (John 18:3). This is always shown as a small number of guards, but a Roman cohort consisted of at least 600 soldiers! Why did they need so many if Jesus was just a man? Judas walks up to Jesus and gives Him a kiss on the cheek – the sign of betrayal (Matt. 26:47-49/Luke 22:47-48). Jesus asks them who they are looking for. They reply “Jesus the Nazarene”. Jesus responds:

“I am He. (John 18:5 – The “He” was added and is not in the original text!)

All 600+ soldiers fall to the ground. When they get up, Jesus asks them again. They respond, and Jesus tells them again that He is the One they’re looking for. As the soldiers seize Jesus, Peter pulls out a sword and cuts off the ear of Malchus, a servant of the high priest. Jesus rebukes Peter for his actions and heals the servant (Matt. 26:53/Mark 14:47/Luke 22:36-38/John 18:10-11). As the Lord is seized and bound, the disciples scatter (Matt. 26:56/Mark 14:50). Bartholomew is gone, Matthew is gone, Nathaniel is gone, John is gone (for a little while); even Peter, the one who boasted that he would never leave Jesus even if the others left, is gone. Jesus is alone with the soldiers and His betrayer.

Jesus is tied up and they lead Him to the high priest’s house. John follows the group with Peter following behind him. Because John is well known to the high priest’s servants, he is allowed in to the trial, while Peter remains outside (John 18:15). Huddling next to the fire, Peter is accused of being one of Jesus’ followers three times and all three times he denies it. The rooster crows. The men who hold Jesus beat and mock Him. They blindfold Him and hit Him telling Him to prophesy which one of them struck Him. They get to the high priest’s house and put Him on a mock trial. Not one of the testimonies matches any other (Mark 14:55-59). Frustrated, Caiaphas finally just asks Jesus outright, “Are you the Son of God then?” Jesus responds:

“Yes, I am.” (Luke 22:70)

The high priest tears his clothes (Mark 14:63) and says that they do not need anymore witnesses. Again they mock and beat Jesus, but they can’t kill Him. Levitical law says that blasphemers are to die by stoning, but Levitical law isn’t in play here. Now the Romans rule. The priests could mete out a judgment, but they couldn’t follow through with the punishment for it. The priests take Jesus before Pontius Pilate, the governor of this part of Israel (Matt. 27:2). Meanwhile, Judas begins to feel remorse for what he’s done, but he never repents for his sins. He returns the silver to the priests claiming, “I’ve betrayed innocent blood!”. The Bible says that his grief was so much that Judas went out and hanged himself (Matt. 27:5). The priests took the money that they had paid for Jesus’ betrayal and bought the field that Judas died in, which has been called the Field of Blood ever since (Matt. 27:8). Jesus stands before Pilate and is questioned by him. He asks Jesus if He is the king of the Jews, and Jesus responds:

It is as you say.” (Matt. 27:11)

Meanwhile, the priests are accusing Him of being a blasphemer. Pilate is astonished when Jesus doesn’t respond, but can find nothing wrong with Him. Pilate finds out that Jesus is a Galilean and sends Him to Herod to deal with (Luke 23:7). Herod is beside himself that he will finally get to see the “miracle worker” face to face. Herod begins a long line of questions, but Jesus remains silent (Luke 23:9). Again, the chief priests accuse Jesus of being a blasphemer and a rabble rouser. After he realizes that Jesus is not going to perform for him, Herod and his soldiers mock Jesus, dress Him in a fancy robe, and send Him back to Pilate (Luke 23:11). When they return to Pilate, he reminds the priests and the people that have now gathered that both he and Herod found no fault with Christ (Luke 23:14). He says that he will punish Christ and then let Him go, and he sends Jesus away to be scourged.

They lead Christ to the whipping post, strip Him down, and chain Him in place. The punishment was 39 lashes with a cat-o’-nine-tails. The cat-o’-nine-tails was a whip with a short handle. From the handle came nine straps of leather. Each strap was embedded with bone, glass, pottery, metal, and anything else that would shred the person’s flesh. The Romans had perfected the arts of torture and killing and they spared no feelings on Jesus. They reveled in their beating of the Lord. Each lashing tore into Him and left stinging reminders of why He came to earth in the first place. Even though the punishment was 39 lashes, Christ received 351 (39 times 9). He was so badly beaten that He was barely recognizable as a man, but the Romans weren’t done with Him. Once the scourging was complete, they dressed Him in purple and led Him back to Pilate (Mark 15:17). On the way, they sat Him down, fashioned a crown of two-inch thorns, and forced the crown onto His head. They handed Him a reed and the entire cohort began mocking and bowing, spitting on Him and shouting, “Hail to the king of the Jews!” (John 19:3). Some of the soldiers took the reed from His hand and began to beat Him with it, driving the thorns deeper into His flesh and adding to His already numerous injuries.

Pilate then tells the crowd that he will bring Jesus out to show that he finds nothing wrong with Him. Pilate tries to release Jesus through his usual custom of letting one prisoner go for Passover (Matt. 27:15/Mark 15:8/Luke 23:17). He asks the crowds that have gathered if they want him to release the King of the Jews. He asked this because he knew that the priests brought Jesus to him out of envy (Matt. 27:18/Mark 15:10). The Pharisees stir up the crowd to chant for Barabbas to be released (Matt. 27:17/Mark 15:11/Luke 23:18). Barabbas was a political prisoner, jailed for starting an insurrection as well as murder; but the crowd chose him over Jesus. Pilate then asks what he should do with Jesus. The priests again stir up the crowd, and the same people that shouted “Hosanna in the highest!” now shout, “Crucify Him!” Pilate tells them that they should take Him and crucify Him themselves because Pilate finds no guilt in Him(John 19:6). The Pharisees say that they have a law, and that law says that Jesus must die for He made Himself out to be the Son of God (John 19:7)). Pilate is afraid now and goes back into the Praetorium to talk to Jesus again:

and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:9-11)

After this, Pilate makes more efforts to release Him, but the priests tell Pilate:

“If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19:12)

Not wanting another uprising in his region, Pilate sits down on the judgment seat, brings Jesus out to them, and says to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”. They cry out to Pilate that Jesus should be crucified. Pilate asks them, “Shall I crucify your King?” They respond by saying, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). As Pilate sits on the judgment seat, he receives a message from his wife:

“Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” (Matthew 27:19)

Despite the warning from his wife, Pilate finally gives in to the crowd. He washes his hands in a bowl of water saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood, see to that yourselves.” The Jews respond, “His blood shall be on us and on our children.” (Matt. 27:24-25). After this, Pilate passes judgment and orders the soldiers to take Jesus to be crucified (Luke 23:24/John 19:16). The soldiers strip the purple robe off of Jesus (reopening every wound He had received during the scourging), put his clothes back on Him, and placed on Him a heavy wooden cross (John 19:17). Jesus begins the 600 yard journey from the Praetorium to the place outside Jerusalem called the Hill of the Skull (Golgotha). He almost makes it. Somewhere along the way, Jesus is no longer able to carry the heavy cross and the soldiers press Simon of Cyrene into service to carry it for Him (Matt. 27:32-33/Mark 15:21-22/Luke 23:26/John 19:17). As they made their way to the hill, a large crowd was following Him, the women mourning what was about to happen. Jesus turns to them and says:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ “Then they will begin TO SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US.’ “For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:28-31)

Two other men were also being led to the hill (Luke 23:32). When they arrive at the hill, they try to give Him wine mixed with myrrh to drink (to deaden the pain), but He refuses it (Matt. 27:34/Mark 15:23). They then laid the cross down on the ground and began to crucify Him. The Roman soldiers had become experts at crucifixion by this time, they had been doing it for 400 years and knew just what to do to make the victim suffer the most without killing them too soon. They stripped Jesus and laid Him out on the cross. Then, taking a nine-inch spike, they pierced His flesh between the two bones of His forearm. Some think that He was pierced through the hands, but I doubt it. I don’t think that the weight could have been held up by His hands. By piercing the area between His two forearm bones, the nail would hold Him up by His wrist (which is still considered part of the hand). Not only that, but by putting the nail here, it would have also pierced a major artery and a major nerve, causing excruciating pain. They then took His other arm and pulled on it to the point that His shoulders became dislocated and then pierced the other arm the same way. They would set the block of wood for His feet and then pierce those as well. There is some talk of whether it was one nail through the top of both feet or two nails, one through each Achilles tendon. Pilate wrote an inscription in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin saying, “This is Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews” (Matt. 27:37/Mark 15:26/Luke 23:38/John 19:19). While the priests dispute this, Pilate says, “I have written what I have written”(John 19:22). After He had been pierced, the cross was raised up and the Son of God hung between heaven and earth for six hours.

Jesus looks down and forgives those who have crucified Him (Luke 23:34). He listens as many people mock and berate Him:

And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. “HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” (Matt. 27:39-43)

He watches as the soldiers gamble for His clothes which is a fulfillment of prophecy (John 19:23-24). He makes sure that Mary, His mother, is taken care of (John 19:26-27). The thieves hanging with Him also hurl insults, but one of them recognizes Jesus for who He really is:

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

At the sixth hour (noon), darkness fell across the land and lasted for three hours. This was no natural darkness (it is believed that the time was moon was full at this time) for it was over all the earth (Matt. 27:45/Mark 15:33/Luke 23:44). At the ninth hour (3 o’clock), Jesus cries out:

“ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Matt. 27:46/Mark 15:34)

Someone runs and grabs a sponge, dips it into a bowl with sour wine, puts it on a branch of hyssop (interestingly, it was hyssop that was used to put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts for Passover), and lifts it up to Him. Jesus drinks of it, and then says:

“Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” (Luke 23:46)

“It is finished!” (John 19:30)

And Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, breathes His last (Matt. 27:50/Mark 15:37/Luke 23:46/John 19:30). When Jesus dies, a number of things happen. The centurion watching the entire scene begins praising God and says:

“Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)

and

“Certainly this man was innocent.” (Luke 23:47)

The veil of the Jewish temple is torn in two from the top to the bottom (Matt. 27:51/Mark 15:38/Luke 23:45). This veil is what separated the holy place from the holy of holies. The holy of holies was only entered once a year and only by the high priest. This was done on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement so that the high priest could make atonement for the sins of the nation of Israel. Anyone else who passed the veil into the holy of holies would die on the spot. The veil being torn in two signifies that it is no longer necessary for man to come to God through the high priest. Now, man can come to God directly through the sacrifice of Christ. The earth also shakes (Matt. 27:51) and tombs around the city are opened and those saints who were once dead are now alive again(Mtt. 27:53-54)! The Sabbath is coming and the bodies cannot stay on the crosses, so the soldiers move to the thieves and break their legs. This was done because those who were crucified didn’t die of the piercings, they died of asphyxiation (suffocation). To take a breath, they would have to push up on their pierced feet, pull up on their pierced arms, and drag their scourged back across the rough cross to take a breath and then they would sink back down. If their legs are broken, they will die faster because they cannot take a breath. When they get to Jesus, they do not break His legs because He is already dead (Mark 15:44-45/John 19:33). They pierce Jesus’ side with a spear to see if He really is dead and water and blood run out of the wound, signifying that His heart had ruptured and He was truly dead (John 19:34-35).

Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and (secret) follower of Christ goes to Pilate and asks for the body of Jesus. When Pilate finds out that Christ is already dead, he grants the request. Joseph lays it in his own tomb, wraps it in linen strips of cloth, and rolls a stone in front of it (Matt. 27:57-60/Mark 15:43-46/Luke 23:50-53/John 19:38-40). They laid Jesus here because it was nearby. Nicodemus was also there and had brought some spices, but with evening falling, they couldn’t finish the proper burial due to the Sabbath. The women who had been following Jesus were there as well and they saw where the tomb was and how He had been buried. Then, they returned home and prepared more spices for Jesus’ burial (Luke 23:55-56). The next day, the Pharisees come to Pilate and ask that he command the tomb to be guarded because they remember Jesus saying that He will arise in three days. Pilate tells them that they have their own Roman guards and that they should make it as secure as they know how. They set the Roman guards out front and place a seal on the stone (Matt. 27:62-66). To break this seal would be a death sentence, if you could get past the 16 Roman soldiers guarding the tomb to do it.

After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, go to the tomb to properly prepare Jesus’ body. When they get there, they find that the stone has been rolled away and the body inside is gone. An angel of the Lord had come down and moved the stone away, striking fear into the hearts of the Roman soldiers and causing them to be like dead men (Matt. 28:2-4). As they stand there perplexed, two angels appear to them and tell them:

“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” (Matt. 28:6-7)

Both women run off to tell the disciples what they have seen, but the disciples do not believe them. Peter and John run to the tomb and enter to see that the body is truly gone, but they don’t understand that Jesus has risen yet and return to their homes (John 20:3-10). Mary Magdalene stands there (possibly with the other Mary) weeping as they leave because she cannot find the body of her Lord. She turns to see a man she believes to be the gardener and runs to him asking him where they have moved the body of Jesus. The man respond:

“Mary!” (John 20:16)

Mary finally realizes that this is not the gardener, but Jesus Himself. She weeps with joy and worships Him. He tells her that she is to go and tell the others that she has seen Him and that they should leave for Galilee to meet Him there. From here, scripture says that Jesus appears to them numerous times on different occasions, including being seen by at least 500 people at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6).

So, what has Jesus done for you? Well, He has done something that no other person on the planet could ever or would ever do for you. Jesus Christ came down from heaven, lowering Himself to the level of creation. He became a man and suffered as we do, but was without sin. He has gone through the same trials and tribulations we have. He understands what it means to be human (Hebrews 4:15). And then, He went to the cross and died for your sins and mine. He didn’t have to. He chose to. He voluntarily allowed Himself to be beaten, mocked, abused, spit upon, whipped, crucified, and murdered so that He could take the wrath of God for your sins (Romans 5:9). All the lies, the lust, the adultery, the gossip, the theft, the homosexuality – He died for it all. And He died once for all (Hebrews 7:27). The most amazing part of the crucifixion isn’t that Jesus suffered and carried on through the betrayal of His friends, it isn’t that He kept on through the pressure of the crucifixion and the separation from God, it isn’t that He didn’t retaliate when He was mocked or insulted, it isn’t that He survived the whipping, or that He was still alive for the crucifixion, it isn’t even that He rose again (although that is amazing!). The most amazing part of all of this is:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

While you and I live in rebellion to God; shaking our fists at Him and His rules, living in direct opposition to His Law, making ourselves the center of our lives instead of Him, denying Him and who He is; while we’ve done all of this, Christ died for us. He knew that we would hate Him. He knew that we would live in sin, drinking it up like water and helping others to do so. He knew all of this, and even with that knowledge, He died for us. That is what Jesus Christ has done for you, and the Bible says that if you will repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ alone to save you (not your own works), you can be born again (Luke 13:3/Acts 17:30). You can be made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and know without a shadow of a doubt that you will go to heaven when you die. Not everyone will believe. Not everyone will be honest about their own sins. There will be those who mock and laugh, and the Bible says this (2 Peter 3:3-7). But, the Bible also says that there will come a day when Christ will return to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31), and all of those who have repented and believed in Him will be taken to heaven, and all of those who have mocked Him and denied the gracious offer of salvation will be cast into hell, by God Himself.

So, what will you do with what Jesus has done for you? Will you turn away from it thinking that you have plenty of time to do this later? The Bible says that you and I are not guaranteed tomorrow (James 4:13-14). Will you just laugh this off like you have the 15 other times that people have loved you enough to tell you the truth about heaven and hell? Or, will you sober up about your sin, recognize yourself as a sinful wretch in need of a Savior, and cry out to Jesus in repentance and faith? It is my sincere hope that you will do the last, for if you don’t, then any trial that you go through in this life will pale in comparison to an eternity in hell, and I don’t want that to happen to you….

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